COASTWIDE: Ocean conditions will be up and down through the weekend, with conditions deteriorating each day. Today opens with a forecast for 10-knot winds and 6-foot swells, followed Saturday by winds up to 25 knots and wind waves building to 8 feet as afternoon rains come. Sunday calls for 10- to 15-knot winds and 8- to 9-foot swells.
Good lingcod and black rockfish catches have occurred recently out of Brookings when the weather has allowed. Black and blue rockfish catches have been good to very good.
Crabbing is open along the entire Oregon Coast. Bay crabbing has been poor because of heavy freshwater flows. Ocean crabbers are averaging just under three crabs per day.
Razor clamming is closed along the entire coast because of domoic acid. Bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide, and mussels are closed south of Cape Arago near Charleston. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
AGATE: The lake was listed as full Thursday. Spring fishing has been pretty good for crappie, yellow perch and the occasional bass. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: Trolling for rainbows picked up this week after 10,000 legal-sized rainbows and 800 trophy trout were added at the Hart-Tish Park and the Copper ramps. The water level was up to 1,973 feet above sea level, putting it 14 feet from full. Bank fishing with worms under bobbers near the release sites will be a good idea. Trollers might try a Wedding Ring lure spiced with half a worm. Fishing off the bank higher up in the reservoir has been good at times for those using PowerBait or worms under bobbers with varying leader lengths. The French Gulch ramp also is open.
DIAMOND: The ice is slushy and new snows this week have put the lake about two weeks out from open-water fishing.
EMIGRANT: Another 1,000 legal-sized rainbows were released two weeks ago at the county boat ramp to go along with the 1,000 legals released there a month ago. That's brought some interest from trollers and bank anglers. The lake was listed Thursday at 99 percent full. Spring bass fishing is picking up for those casting plastic worms or slowly worked crankbaits in the shallower water around willows and other structure.
FISH: The lake was up a hair this week to 65 percent full, and fishing is good around the shallows as trout are cruising for early insects. Catches from shore have been mostly holdover rainbows and the rare tiger trout. Tigers must be released unharmed. Worms and PowerBait have been the best baits.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is open and full heading into what used to be opening weekend. The resort is open and operating, and boat rentals are available. Early-season anglers have done well trolling out of the Willow Point boat ramp, but also expect good bank angling in the shallows around the resort. With cold water, still fishing in 10 feet or so of water with PowerBait is a good choice. On warmer days troll the shallows with Tasmanian Devils and other lures.
HYATT: The lake is ice-free, but snowpack makes using the BLM ramp tough. There are no bathrooms nor is there much parking. Still-fishing near shore with PowerBait or worms will be good, as will slowly trolling worms and lures. The lake is 63 percent full.
LOST CREEK: The lake got 800 trophy trout split this week between the Takelma and marina ramps as well as 20,000 legals in the past week. That is generating more interest in fishing out of either ramp. The lake level is inching up. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has dropped outflows to 2,500 cubic feet per second, while inflows remain above 3,100 cfs. That has pushed anglers back down to the dam area, where trolling has been decent with red or green Wedding Ring lures with a worm.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is ice-free. Fish for rainbows in the shallows with bait or lures. The resort remains closed.
WILLOW: The lake got 4,000 legal-sized rainbows three weeks ago at the county boat ramp. Catch them early on PowerBait or worms near the ramp before they disperse.
EXPO: The pond received 1,500 legal-sized trout two weeks ago to go with the same number released last month. Fishing is best with worms and bobbers or Panther Martin lures. Access the pond through Gate 5 off Peninger Road. Parking fees are now in effect.
ROGUE: Water flows continue to fluctuate river-wide, with winter steelhead fishing holding on in the upper Rogue but slowing in the middle Rogue as wild fish fill the spawning streams. A few spring chinook salmon were caught this week in the upper Rogue, signaling the start of that season. The lower Rogue has been OK for springers, with guides consistently out-producing regulars in boats scattered in the lower freshwater holes downstream of Quosatana.
That makes the upper Rogue the best bet during this weekend's Free Fishing Weekend, largely because water conditions are better and those fishing winter steelhead run at least the chance of catching a fine early-season spring chinook.
In the upper Rogue, the Corps of Engineers has dropped the outflows from Lost Creek Lake to 2,500 cfs, so the flows have good clarity and are providing good migration conditions for winter steelhead on the move. Cole Rivers Hatchery technicians counted 277 new winter steelhead Wednesday in the hatchery trap, the third straight week of nearly 300 steelhead. That kicked the count to date to 1,697 steelhead there, down slightly from the 10-year average of 1,824 steelhead to the hatchery by now.
Still no springers have been reported Cole Rivers Hatchery, but at least a handful have been caught this past week at some of the normal haunts by bank anglers casting beads. Only hatchery springers can now be kept.
Winter steelhead fishing has slowed down in the Grants Pass area. Most of the fish getting caught recently were dark. There were no confirmed springers caught recently, but the boys at Rainie Falls have been awfully silent about what's happening down there. Flows at Grants Pass were down to 4,905 cfs Thursday afternoon, and they are forecast to go up over 5,000 cfs today before falling well into midweek next week.
In the lower Rogue, spring chinook fishing has improved, and anglers are catching fish daily, primarily on cut-plug herring. Some are using anchovies. Most of the action is in the water just upstream of tidewater. Flows at Agness were about 11,860 cfs Thursday and forecast to drop very gradually through the weekend.
Surfperch fishing off the Rogue sand spit has been great.
APPLEGATE: The river is closed to all angling.
CHETCO: The river is closed to all angling.